Melissa Thompson is a global mental healthcare advocate and the founder and CEO of TalkSession: a healthcare technology company aimed to increase access to mental healthcare through telemedicine. TalkSession’s platform identifies unutilized provider’s time, and connects providers remotely to patients who need help on demand – producing superior patient outcomes, reduced systemic costs, and increased efficiency to the marketplace. Melissa is also an active writer, speaker, on-air commentator on mental health, healthcare reform, wearable technology, entrepreneurship and health IT.
In the last year alone, Melissa and her company were honored with global awards for innovation, leadership, and healthcare initiatives. Melissa was selected as a “Healthcare Transformer” for the GE & StartUp Health Academy – a three-year entrepreneurship partnership program. Melissa is an alumna of Springboard Enterprises’ Life Science program’s 2013 class, and was awarded the title of Entrepreneur of the Year and Innovator of the Year, by the International Women in Business Awards in 2013. WIRED’s December 2013 issue featured TalkSession in its print edition, guest-curated by Bill Gates, as a game-changing company and technology under Gates’ headline essay, “Let’s Fix the World,” and In September 2013, TalkSession was highlighted by the White House as an innovative technology that would change the future of behavioral healthcare.
Previously, Melissa was an analyst at Goldman Sachs working with structured derivatives in emerging markets. Subsequently, she worked in digital marketing and technology strategy for clients, including the United Nations, G2 Investments, Forbes Magazine, The Weinstein Company, Publicis, and the New York Stock Exchange. Melissa is a regular contributor on technology, healthcare and the quantified self, to Forbes, Inc., and The Huffington Post. Melissa and TalkSession were profiled for healthcare innovation in publications including Financial Times, Mashable, CBS SmartPlanet, Fast Company, Bloomberg, Business Week, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Wired, among over one hundred publications in 2013.
Melissa is a proud member of 37Angels, a community of women angel investors; a Board Advisor to the Flawless Foundation, an organization committed to enhancing education around neurodevelopment and behavioral challenges in children; a Technology Advisor to Newport Academy, a treatment program for teens suffering from mental health, behavioral health, and substance abuse issues; and she is the Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Center for Health Innovation, Women in Healthcare & Life Sciences, a global initiative to promote STEM education and programming.
For TalkSession, Melissa has cultivated a highly impressive Advisory Board, including top physicians at Columbia University, Harvard Medical School, Bellevue Hospital, and the National Institutes of Health, as well as award-winning epidemiologists and user-experience design experts.
Melissa holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, with a focus on social entrepreneurship, a BA in Economics from Barnard College, and studied international business and Chinese at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China. She resides in New York City.